The Good (H/T: MM): Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, today issued the following statement on the agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators on the Paulson plan, and his intentions on the final bill:
“My top responsibility as an elected official is to protect the families and people who trusted me to represent their interests in Washington. I do not take lightly the critical nature of the credit crisis that our capital markets face today and the grave situation that every American will face should our credit markets freeze and remain frozen. Inaction has never been an option, but the Paulson plan should have never been the only option.
“In my heart and in my mind, I believe that this plan is fraught with unintended consequences, would force generations of taxpayers to pick up the tab for Wall Street losses, and could permanently and fundamentally change the role of government in the American free enterprise system. Once the government socializes losses, it will soon socialize profits. If we lose our ability to fail, we will soon lose our ability to succeed. If we bail out risky behavior, we will soon see even riskier behavior.
“I also believe that this Congress, in a rushed effort to provide stability to a troubled credit market, did not adequately discuss or investigate potential alternatives that would have constituted a work out and not a bail out. Even at this moment, it still remains more important for Congress to do it right than to do it fast. I stand ready, as do many of my colleagues, to stay here for as many days as it takes to do this right.
“For the last week, House conservatives have fought to protect innocent taxpayers from an unprecedented government raid on their wallets to bail out Wall Street from their bad decisions and financial losses. Principled Republicans like Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor helped improve the legislation before us by adding increased taxpayer protections and additional Wall Street accountability. But mere improvement is not the test for support. The test is whether, after weighing both the good and the bad, you believe that the plan ultimately leads America in the right direction. Using that test, I cannot in good conscious support this legislation.”
The Bad: Just were did the Treasury Department come up with that $700 Billion bailout figure? They made it up… From Forbes:
“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”
Presumably they picked a frighteningly large number in order to scare Congress into acting quickly without thinking the matter through.
The Ugly: From Today’s New York Post:
O’S DANGEROUS PALS
BARACK’S ‘ORGANIZER’ BUDS PUSHED FOR BAD MORTGAGES
By STANLEY KURTZ, New York Post, September 29, 2008
WHAT exactly does a “community organizer” do? Barack Obama’s rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here’s a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.
In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes – and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.
In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
THE seeds of today’s financial meltdown lie in the Commu nity Reinvestment Act – a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.
CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in “subprime” loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.
Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA – and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.
I wish I had something intelligent to say but the only words that come to mind all contain four letters and are not generally used in polite company.